Comelec to politicians: Don’t interfere in Monday polls
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has warned local politicians against interfering in the conduct of the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls or exerting influence on their outcome.
Officials of the poll body on Friday said they had received reports of barangay candidates being asked to withdraw their candidacies by politicians.
Teofisto Elnas Jr., Comelec’s director for election and barangay affairs, said a congressman and a governor in a region he declined to name were allegedly behind the coercion.
Elnas said the poll body’s law department would file charges once they have validated the report against the two politicians.
With two days left before the holding of the barangay and SK polls on Monday, acting Comelec Chair Al Parreño assured the public that the poll body was all set for the smooth conduct of the elections.
A command center has been set up at the Comelec head office in Manila that will link up all of the 1,500 election officers throughout the country for better coordination and monitoring, Parreño said.
Police foot patrols
Assistant Interior Secretary Jonathan Malaya said the poll body would intensify police foot patrols to deter vote-buying incidents.
The Comelec also shredded on Friday more than a million spoiled, defective and excess ballots to prevent these from being used in fraudulent activities.
In a press conference, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Comelec were prepared to deploy around 300,000 volunteer DepEd personnel and teachers for election duties. —JOVIC YEE AND JODEE A. AGONCILLO